CSUSM Wins Sustainability Award for Second Straight Year
Cal State San Marcos received a best practice award for social equity and justice at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference for the second straight year.
The award was for a collaboration with Cal State Northridge on a project titled “Sustainable Menstruation: Making Periods Zero Waste and Accessible to All.” CSUSM was recognized last year for its creation of an environmental justice internship program.
“This recognition demonstrates how sustainability at CSUSM is working toward student success through the lens of equity, inclusion, access and affordability,” said Juliana Goodlaw-Morris, CSUSM’s sustainability manager. “By receiving this award for the past two years, I am proud to say that CSUSM is leading the way across the CSU with our efforts to connect social justice, equity and inclusion with sustainability.”
Recent CSUSM graduate Marina Flowers received a $2,500 grant from ASI's Sustainability Projects Fund through ASI for the project. Flowers’ aim was to reduce stigmas around menstruation, make sustainable menstruation accessible to those who want it, and to help CSUSM reach its “Zero Waste by 2025” goal.
Goodlaw-Morris said the project was a success, with students receiving sustainable menstruation products and saving money at the same time. She noted that a person who menstruates spends an average of $12,800 on menstrual care products and disposes over 10,000 products into landfills during their lifetime. Goodlaw-Morris said sustainable products reduce this significantly, with no disposal needs and only a one-time purchase (average cost $25) about every 10 years.
CSUSM will offer 200 sustainable menstruation items to students this fall through a collaboration with the company OrganiCup and its Campus Cup program. Students can follow CSUSM’s sustainability Instagram account (@sustaincsusm) to participate in the free giveaway, which will occur in late September and early October.
“The ‘Sustainable Menstruation’ is a great example of how sustainability intersects with access, affordability and health,” Goodlaw-Morris said. “I recognize that this is a unique project, but one that benefits our students immensely. For many, becoming more sustainable is seen as costing more money. However, this project demonstrates that sustainability can be good for your pocketbook, for your health and for the environment – a win-win-win.”
Students can apply for grant funding through the Sustainable Projects Fund online. Applications are open until Oct. 2.
Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist
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